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 Rising Stars Photography Conference

Join us for a phenomenal FREE full day conference featuring the "Rising Stars of Photography" sponsored by Hunts Photo & Video and CTPPA.  This event will run from 9am-5pm and will feature the following young photographers as our speakers.  Hunts has also lined up a few vendors to demonstrate the newest equipment.  

9:00 am EST  CTPPA Welcome and Introductions

9:15 am EST Garrett Sheets "Natural Light for Bird Photography

Understanding the factors of lighting is essential when it comes to wildlife photography. It has the ability to change the colors, details, shadows, and so much more. Identifying lighting scenarios and using them to your advantage not only helps you improve your photography skills, but also create images that stand out with a unique style. Join Garrett Sheets to discuss how to use the available natural light and your camera to create balanced, colorful, sharp images.

About Garrett: 

Garrett Sheets is an avid nature photographer from St. Louis, Missouri. At 19 years old he has been fortunate enough to travel all over the world with various organizations, bringing his camera to photograph exotic wildlife and landscapes. He hopes his images inspire others and encourage a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

His previous experience as a top bird watcher in the state of Missouri helped him gain proficiency in interacting with subjects in the field, and respect for the subjects he photographs. Birds continue to be his primary joy, however, he now appreciates them through the viewfinder of his camera and the images he creates.

Garrett began exploring the outdoors from a young age and loves sharing his experiences and stories with others. He enjoys getting down in the mud, climbing trees, and doing whatever he can to get the shot, however, Garrett always puts the subject's safety first.

10:30 am EST Dan Waterman "Design and how it relates to Photography

In this presentation, Dan will give a high-level overview of key design principles and the basics of typography, applying those notions pragmatically for photographers of all levels: portfolio websites, basic personal branding and photo albums.

He will discuss concepts photographers already use (e.g., form, composition, contrast and hierarchy) and demonstrate how the concepts can be applied more broadly in a cohesive design process, with tips and techniques to enhance your portfolio.

About Dan:

Dan Waterman is a full-time graphic designer and photographer based in Warwick, RI. Propelled by a love for photography and communication, his interest in the visual arts has led to expertise in a variety of disciplines including design, copywriting, web development, animation, marketing, and branding. He deeply values engaging with the creative community, sharing tools and knowledge to empower, inspire and learn from other like-minded people.
Dan first picked up a camera 15 years ago and was captivated by the methodical, process-oriented approach to composition and exposure. His passion has only grown since then, and he now spends every possible moment exploring and capturing the world’s varied landscapes. He’s particularly interested in infrared and multi-spectrum imaging in natural and urban environments, pushing the envelope of creative vision. His work can be seen at

11:30 am EST Lunch

12:00 pm EST Laowa lenses: To 1:1 and Beyond, Macro with Laowa

IIn this demo you will get to see what’s possible with Laowa’s unique line of macro lenses. From Ultra wide 1:1, to 5x ultra macro and the amazing 24mm probe macro. Laowa lenses have been pushing the barriers and redefining what is possible in macro photography since being founded in 2013. Even Laowa’s line of 2:1 standard 100mm (& equivalent) macro lenses has changed the way many macro photographers approach their work.

Macro photography does not need to be hindered by a mess of attachments, tubes, and filters. If you’re just getting started with macro, or you’re a veteran with a stack of extension tubes and a reversed 50mm lens on the front of your rig, please take the time to join us for the demo.

1:00 pm EST Caleb Hoover " Sensor Cleaning" and Wildlife Photography in Urban Areas

CCaleb Hoover will be demonstrating how to clean your own camera sensor and the tools needed.

Wildlife photographer Caleb Hoover discusses the ins and outs of doing Bird and Wildlife photography in a highly developed urban environment. He will share some tips for finding great subjects close to home. Also, how to still capture stunning wildlife images despite the limiting circumstances an urban environment tends to offer.

About Caleb:

I'm a 16-year-old Birder and Wildlife Photographer based out of the gulf coast of Florida. I started Birding and documenting the birds I saw when I was 8 years old and ever since then Ive gotten more and more invested. When I was around 13-14 i began to take the photography aspect a bit more seriously. Since then, I've been enjoying the rich process of learning and building on the art of Bird photography.

2:00 pm EST Martin Culpepper "Owl Photography

Owls are one of the most mysterious and sought-after subjects for both birders and wildlife photographers alike. Their often nocturnal and secretive nature makes them harder to locate and photograph than almost any other group of avian subjects. This program will be focused on how you can effectively and ethically photograph these wonderful animals and produce high-quality photographs of them, along with how to find some specific species to get you started.

About Martin:

My name is Martin Culpepper. I’m an 18-year-old photographer based in northern Massachusetts who specializes in wildlife. 

3:00 pm EST  BenQ monitors: Why you need a photographic monitor!

TThis session will introduce you to the world of pro displays, specifically one made for a color-accurate photography workflow. Learn about the different types of displays that are available, software vs hardware calibrated displays, which one to choose? Important criteria to consider when choosing a color-accurate display such as color gamut coverage, resolution, uniformity, matte vs glossy coating, to name a few. And find out how to get started with the display calibration process, some of the crucial settings to dial in, and more in this talk.

4:00 pm EST Simon Tolzman "Macro to Micro: Photography with Bridge Camera's

Good photos do not need to be taken with a $10,000 camera setup. Disposable cameras can take some of the most artistic photos possible, at the same level of intricacy as a DSLR. Using a point and shoot is my happy medium, and the capabilities never cease to impress. Salamanders posed on logs, flowers growing on the forest floor, birds perched in trees, soaring on thermals, or foraging on the ground are all common sights through my viewfinder. The secrets to micro to macro point-and-shoot photography are waiting to be shared.

About Simon:

Simon is a 16 year old birder and naturalist in Chicago, IL. At age two I turned the TV on to a PBS documentary about Cuttlefish and got hooked on nature. For the next 11 years I became obsessed with all things prehistoric, and for the last 5 years have had my sights set on all living things. I did a Cook County Big year in 2020, and saw 283 species of birds, breaking the old record by two. In 2021 I am doing an iNaturalist Big Year, meaning I am trying to document as many species of living things as possible, and have them peer reviewed. I am at 1,441 species currently and hope to be at 3,000 by the year's end.

5:00 pm Door Prizes and Raffles will be awarded (must be present to win)

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